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BARTOW, Fla., May 11, 2022 – Peace River Center (PRC) will recognize outgoing CEO Bill Gardam on May 16 with a City of Lakeland proclamation as J. William Gardam Day. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and provides a great opportunity to recognize Gardam, an advocate for mental health education, who led the organization in awareness efforts such as Make It OK.

Under Gardam’s leadership, PRC has expanded services and locations, improved outcomes, and secured the organization’s financial stability. Gardam began his role as President and CEO in 2013. During that time the organization was considering a capital campaign to expand crisis stabilization services to Lakeland. Gardam led the organization in raising more than $5 million to expand these services by adding a second crisis stabilization unit in Lakeland. Gardam recently worked with staff to initiate a partnership known as the Community Mobile Support Team, which places crisis counselors at Polk County Sheriff’s district offices.

“Working with the Peace River Center team has been the single-most fulfilling experience of my career, and I am very proud of what we have achieved together. The Executive Leadership Team is focused and driven to continue our positive path forward and will ensure a positive transition for the organization,” said Gardam.

He serves on the Board of the Florida Behavioral Health Association, Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, Florida Council for Behavioral Health, and is a founding member and Board Chair of Behavioral Health Partners of Florida, LLC and Integrated Care Network of Florida, LLC (an independent practice association of 28 behavioral health providers across Florida).

Peace River Center’s Board of Directors announced in April the appointment of Larry G. Williams, Jr., as the new Chief Executive Officer after an executive search that began in December 2021.

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